Chelsea in limbo as Todd Boehly leaves transfer role after £9.6m deal

Under-fire manager Graham Potter accepts Chelsea fans need to see more

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Chelsea co-owner Todd Boehly has stepped down from his role as interim sporting director, handing responsibilities over transfers to the club’s new recruitment team. Boehly will continue as solely the Blues’ chairman after leading transfer negotiations since a whirlwind summer of 2022.

He appointed himself interim sporting director after Marina Granovskaia and Petr Cech’s Stamford Bridge departures last summer. However, The Telegraph report he is no longer operating in the role after hiring a new recruitment team, some of whom started work this month.

Chelsea have already completed three January signings, acquiring teenage duo David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos and securing a £35million deal for Benoit Badiashile. And now reports confirm Chelsea have struck a £9.6m agreement with Atletico Madrid to sign Joao Felix on loan until the end of the season.

The Blues look set to beat Arsenal and Manchester United to the 23-year-old’s signature, bolstering their attacking ranks ahead of Christopher Nkunku’s impending summer arrival.

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But Boehly is no longer at the heart of negotiations, transferring the responsibility to new technical director Christopher Vivell and director of global talent and transfers Paul Winstanley. Co-director of recruitment and talent Joe Shields and technical director Laurence Stewart will join the duo next month to lead Chelsea’s transfer strategy.

The American co-owner, who partnered with Behdad Eghbali to buy the club from Roman Abramovich, only saw his interim sporting director role as a short-term fix while he steadied the ship. He wants Winstanley and Vivell to lure some of the world’s most exciting young talent to west London amidst strengthening Graham Potter’s first team.

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It’s claimed Potter also wants to add a right-back and midfielder to his ranks before the winter transfer deadline.

He is keen to recruit back-up for Reece James, whose injuries this season have impacted Chelsea’s results since Potter succeeded Thomas Tuchel at the helm.

The Blues attempted an audacious swoop for the 2022 World Cup’s Best Young Player Enzo Fernandez but refused to bow down to Benfica’s stubborn stance and pay his £105m release clause.

With Chelsea currently 10th in the Premier League, Boehly will hope his backing of Potter this month will help propel the Londoners into the top four come May.

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